A record crowd of more than 1,200 attendees were in Phoenix last week for REITWise 2015: NAREIT's Law, Accounting & Finance Conference at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

The three-day "hands-on" conference focused on the political, economic and market events impacting legal, financial, tax and accounting operations within REITs and publicly traded real estate companies.

REITWise 2015: David Bonser (far left), head of equity and U.S. debt capital markets with Hogan Lovells, moderated a panel on communications issues for REITs, including corporate communications strategies and disclosure issues. Participants included (from left to right): J. Gerard Cummins, partner with Sidley Austin LLP; Julian Kleindorfer, partner with Latham & Watkins LLP; and Kay Tidwell, executive vice president and general counsel with Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc.(NYSE: HPP).

REITWise 2015: The Government Relations Committee meeting included presentations from representatives of both the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Panelists at the meeting consisted of (from left to right): Andrea Hoffenson, IRS FI&P branch chief; Julanne Allen, IRS FI&P assistant to branch chief; Michael Novey, associate tax legislative counsel with the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Tax Policy; Jeffrey Clark, senior vice president for tax and JV accounting at Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST); Dara Bernstein, senior tax counsel with NAREIT; and Tony Edwards, NAREIT executive vice president and general counsel.

REITWise 2015: A session at the program examined the key drivers of REIT stock prices. Mark Denien (far left), executive vice president and CFO of Duke Realty Corporation (NYSE: DRC), moderated the panel. Other participants included (from left to right): Scott Eisen, managing director with Citi; Douglas Funke, managing director and global portfolio manager with Forum Securities Ltd.; and Lukas Hartwich, analyst with Green Street Advisors.

REITWise 2015: Michael Stauffer (far left), vice president for taxes with Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC), led a panel on a variety of REIT tax issues. He was joined by (from left to right): Nabil Andrawis, executive vice president and director for taxation with Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE: LXP); Adam Handler, principal at PwC; Ross Wehman, vice president for tax at Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT); and Jennifer Weiss, shareholder with Greenberg Traurig.

REITWise 2015: Keri Shea (far left), senior vice president for finance and treasurer with AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB), moderated a panel at an Accounting Committee meeting. Panelists included (from left to right): Kimber Bascom, partner with KPMG LLP; Christopher Drula, vice president for financial standards with NAREIT; Mark Mahar, partner with EY; and Julie Valpey, partner with BDO USA, LLP.

REITWise 2015: One panel at REITWise 2015 covered partnership tax issues encountered by REITs. Kathleen Courtis (far left), senior vice president with General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP), moderated the session and was joined on the panel by (from left to right): Steven Adler, vice president for taxation with Acadia Realty Trust (NYSE: AKR); Terence Cuff, of counsel with Loeb & Loeb LLP; and Richard Lipton, partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP.

REITWise 2015: The program featured a session on SEC financial reporting issues. Panelists included (from left to right): Sonia Barros, assistant director in the SEC Division of Corporation Finance; John Gottfried, partner with PwC; and Kirk Rogers, partner with Grant Thornton LLP.

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